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There's a First Time for Everything

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“Wat,” says Tine, “my family had a dog once that liked to chase cars.”

Sarawat’s brain parses that sentence once, twice, three times. And nope, he still can’t make heads or tails of it. 

“Are you drunker than I realized?” he asks, bewildered. He does a quick mental count of the drinks they’d downed with their friends before adjourning here to Sarawat’s apartment, tallying only three for him and two for Tine the entire evening. 

Tine sighs and sits up—which is exactly what Sarawat did not want, because damn it he’s waited for what feels like an eternity to have Tine stretched out on his bed, eagerly responding to his kisses. What went wrong? They’d been kissing for an hour, and judging by Tine’s enticing little moans Sarawat hadn’t been doing a half bad job of it either. 

So why have they stopped? How the hell are they suddenly talking about family pets?

“Not drunk, no,” Tine says, “but my lips are getting sore and I think we need to talk.”

Sarawat stares at him. “About...dogs?”

“No, Saraleo, about sex. The dog is a—a metaphor.”

Sarawat sits up too, heart suddenly pounding jackrabbit fast. “Tine, if I did something wrong—”

Tine silences him with the gentle touch of a forefinger to his lips. “You didn’t, OK? It was all good.” He smiles then, that sweet mouth Sarawat adores quirking up at the corners as his cheeks flush pink. “Better than good. You’re an incredible kisser, Wat.”

“But?”

“This is where the dog comes in.” Tine draws a deep breath and Sarawat can’t help noticing that yes, those gorgeous lips do look almost painfully kiss-reddened. He still wants to bite them, though.

“The one that liked to chase cars.”

“Right. The thing is...he didn’t know what to do when he finally caught one.”

Oh. Oh.  

Now it’s Sarawat’s turn to blush. “I’m the dog in this scenario, right?”

Tine ducks his head, the soft forelock of his hair falling over one eyebrow—and how, Sarawat wonders helplessly, is every single small thing this boy does so heartbreakingly beautiful? It’s more than his poor smitten heart can bear.

“Sarawat,” Tine says softly, “are you a virgin?”

Sarawat closes his eyes. And nods. 

“How could you tell?” he asks.

“Well, we’ve been kissing all this time and you never moved your hands lower than my nipples.”

“Hey, I’ve been waiting forever to get my hands on those boobs,” Sarawat jokes weakly. He opens his eyes again, risking a peek at Tine, and is rewarded with a teasing little smile. 

“Yes, I know,” Tine says with a long-suffering sigh. “By now I think the entire campus knows about your fetish for my boobs, you pervert. But you didn’t even slip your hands under my shirt.”

Was I supposed to?  Sarawat wonders. Am I allowed to? Is that second base?  He has no fucking clue—and that’s exactly Tine’s point, isn’t it? 

Shit. He really is the car-chasing dog.

“It didn’t get run over and die, did it?” he asks suspiciously. “The dog?”

Tine laughs and takes his hands, squeezing them reassuringly. “No, it just hung by its teeth from the rear bumper for a couple of blocks before it had to let go.”

Sarawat’s eyes flicker speculatively in the direction of Tine’s ass. “Oh? How far does this metaphor extend, exactly?” 

Tine snorts but doesn’t take the bait. Instead he shifts position to sit cross-legged on the mattress facing Sarawat, bringing his hands up to cup Sarawat’s face. Sarawat leans in to the light pressure of those slender fingers on his cheek, turning his head to nuzzle at one palm. 

Bliss. Just this simple touch is bliss. It’s not that Sarawat hasn’t imagined more—oh god, he’s imagined it all so many times, pictured himself touching Tine, tasting Tine, taking Tine. He’s woken hard and aching from dreams of thrusting hilt-deep into the heat of Tine’s body, fucking him into this very mattress while Tine cries out his name. But he’s waited so long for it to become a reality that even the tiniest contact can confound his senses. 

Tine’s gaze on him is soft and gentle. A little more serious than Sarawat likes to see—he craves Tine’s smiles like a drug—but there’s no judgment in that angelic face he loves, only kindness and acceptance. 

“Wat, there’s nothing wrong with being a virgin,” he says. “You know that, right? Everybody talks big about being experienced but I’d be willing to bet half our friends are still virgins too.”

“But not you,” Sarawat says quietly. It’s not a question. They’ve never discussed it but somehow he just knows. 

“No,” Tine admits. “Not me. Does that bother you?”

Before answering, Sarawat pulls Tine into his arms, burying his face in Tine’s neck to plant a soft, lingering kiss right on the tantalizing spot where the curve of Tine’s neck meets the strong slope of his shoulder. He’s rewarded with a sharp intake of breath from Tine and feels the faintest of shivers run through his boyfriend’s body.

“Nothing about you bothers me,” he says against the warmth of Tine’s skin. “How could it? You’re perfect. But I still wish I could’ve been your first. I’m a little jealous that I can’t be. Is that stupid?”

“Of course not.” Tine strokes his hair, teasing strands of it between his fingers. “But it’s not like there aren’t some firsts left for you. Big ones.”

“Oh?” Sarawat kisses that tempting neck again, following it up with a soft nibble. “Tell me.”

“You—uhnn,” Tine gasps as Sarawat’s teeth find his earlobe. “Sarawat .”

“Tell me,” he urges again. “What firsts have you saved for me, tua woon wai?”

The teasing hand combing through his hair turns into a fist. When Tine replies it’s in a choked whisper, barely audible, but the words are nearly enough to end Sarawat then and there.

“You’ll be my first time with a man.”

Now it’s Sarawat’s turn to shiver. “Oh god, Tine. Yes. I want that.”

“You’ll be the first…” He hears Tine swallow hard. “The first ever to be inside me.”

“Oh my fucking god.” Sarawat leans heavily against Tine, feeling desire surge through him so fast and fierce it’s as though an invisible hand has seized hold of all his nerve endings and clenched

And then Tine delivers the death blow.

“The first to come in me.”

Sarawat cannot even reply in human language. All he can do is groan against Tine’s shoulder, feeling himself go from a soft semi to rock hard in his jeans in a heartbeat. That’s how thoroughly this beautiful boy has managed to own him with just a handful of words. 

But Tine isn’t done with him yet. “Wat. Sarawat.” He’s drawing away despite Sarawat’s instinctive cry of protest, his hands gently but firmly pushing Sarawat back. “Lie down for me, OK?” 

Still overcome, Sarawat can only obey, allowing Tine to press him down onto the mattress and straighten his long limbs until he’s splayed out like an offering with Tine gazing down at him with those perfect lips softly parted and his eyes gone dark with desire. 

“Can I…?” Tine asks with a gesture toward Sarawat’s body.

“Anything,” Sarawat manages to gasp. He has no idea what Tine has in mind but he is fully on board with any plan that involves getting Tine in his pants.

But Tine doesn’t start with the pants. Instead he slowly, deliberately unbuttons first Sarawat’s shirt and then his own, spreading Sarawat’s open wide and and shrugging his off completely, baring himself to the waist. His hands stroke appreciatively across Sarawat’s chest and down, down, following the curve of his ribs to the defined ridges of his abs. Clever fingers trace circles around his navel and then dip lower still, sliding teasingly under the waistband of his jeans. Only then does Tine reach for Sarawat’s fly, and oh god this is it, Sarawat thinks. This is how he’s going to die: staring raptly at the golden perfection of Tine’s half-naked body as Tine unbuttons and unzips his jeans. 

At least he’ll die happy. Ecstatic.

Tine doesn’t undress Sarawat further, though, just leaves his jeans wide open at the fly and then proceeds to climb aboard, straddling him with his palms pressed to Sarawat’s chest, his knees on either side of Sarawat’s hips and his sweet warm ass planted firmly atop the Sarawat Expo. 

“Is this OK?” Tine asks, bending down to brush a soft kiss across Sarawat’s lips. The motion also serves to apply a delicious pressure to Sarawat’s groin as Tine’s body weight shifts.

Sarawat’s brain short-circuits. That there’s still a double layer of fabric between them in the form of Sarawat’s boxer shorts and Tine’s track pants is an entirely moot point as far as he’s concerned. All his overstimulated body knows is that a bare-chested Tine is on top of him creating friction on his dick. 

He’s officially in heaven. 

Sarawat makes an involuntary sound. It comes out something like “Guh-huh—?” 

“I swear I can stop anytime you want to,” Tine says, “but you’ve had me hard for an hour with your kissing and it’s driving me out of my mind.”

Wait. Tine was hard all that time? Immediately Sarawat regrets his gentlemanly instinct to not pull Tine closer to him while they kissed. He’d been afraid that full-body contact would turn him into an uncontrollable rutting beast, and he’d promised himself he wouldn’t force Tine out of his straight-boy comfort zone while everything was still so new between them.

Well, that’s ironic. Because apparently Tine’s comfort zone extends miles further than Sarawat’s own. 

Which, in retrospect...yeah, it makes sense. Sarawat’s never been in a relationship before. Tine’s had a slew of girlfriends and probably made out with most of them. Tine’s had sex . The shape and arrangement of body parts might be different but much of his foreplay experience probably carries over just fine.

Carefully, as though he might wake himself from a dream, Sarawat brings his hands up to caress Tine’s pecs, and oh fuck that combination of hard muscle under soft, smooth skin is lethal. Sarawat can’t hold back a faint moan as he teases the twin brown circles of Tine’s nipples with his thumbs, watching with fascination as the little nubs harden to attention as he caresses them. 

Tine makes a sound that’s half pleasure, half impatience. “Wat, I’m not made of glass. Touch me.”

Sarawat gazes up at him in confusion. “I thought I was?”

“Barely! Saraleo, you’ve been obsessed with my boobs for how long? Stop being so damn polite. Suck them. Bite them. Get your gorgeous mouth on me.”

Sarawat’s brain cannot even begin to process those requests. He just stares dumbly up at Tine as though he’s speaking a foreign language. “You...like my mouth?”

With a strangled cry of frustration Tine bends down again, kissing him nearly hard enough to bruise. He plunders Sarawat’s mouth, teasing it open with his tongue and nipping the plump lower lip with his teeth. He kisses him with unabashed hunger as his hands move urgently on Sarawat’s body and the warm weight of his firm, round ass bears down on Sarawat’s cock.

Just when Sarawat is certain he’s going to either explode or pass out—possibly both—Tine raises his head.

“Yes, I like your mouth,” he says. “Any other stupid questions?”

“Just one,” Sarawat says. “How do I make you come?”

~

The answer, it turns out, is that for two horny eighteen-year-olds—one of them a touch-starved virgin—it’s more of a challenge not to come. A fact that Tine proceeds to demonstrate by stretching out full-length on top of Sarawat and grinding their hips together once...twice...three times…

Sarawat moans Tine’s name, his breathing reduced to ragged gasps.

...four…

Sarawat grabs a double handful of Tine’s perfect ass, using the newfound leverage to grind up against him as Tine’s body bears down on his.

...five…

Tine’s lips are close to Sarawat’s ear, uttering the filthiest sounds he’s ever heard, little mewling cries of pure pleasure that send new jolts of arousal down Sarawat’s spine. 

...six…

Tine works a hand between them, frantically pushing his track pants and Sarawat’s boxers down as his entire body begins to tremble.

...seven, eight, nine…

“Sarawat. Oh god, Sarawat. Gonna come. Kiss me, kiss me—”

Tine. Yes, oh god, oh fuck, I—Tine .”

...ten.

He’s kissing Tine as he comes, as they both come, Sarawat’s mouth swallowing the sound of his own name from Tine’s lips. 

The pleasure is almost unbearable. The orgasm feels ripped from his body, taking Sarawat so hard that his back arches like a bow and his vision goes white. He’s only distantly aware that he’s now clenching his hands on Tine with bruising strength—and if he could think clearly he’d be sorry but he can’t, he can’t. He’s lost. Lost to sensation, lost in Tine. Lost to love.

As he gradually recovers himself, Sarawat becomes aware again of the warm weight of Tine in his arms, heavy now as Tine lies panting and spent atop him. He releases his tight hold on Tine’s poor backside, giving it a gentle pat of apology before running a hand up Tine’s sweat-filmed back to palm the back of his neck. 

“You OK, Nuisance?”

Tine snorts into the crook of his neck. “I help you hump your brains out and you’re still calling me names? Nice, Saraleo. Real nice.” 

He raises his head then, and Sarawat takes a moment to appreciate how attractively wrecked he looks: face flushed, hair rumpled, lips kiss-reddened, traces of stubble burn on his neck and what’s very definitely a bite mark on his shoulder. 

“God, you’re so beautiful.”

Tine wrinkles his nose and curls his lip, which gives him a fleeting resemblance to an adorable cartoon rabbit. “I’m sticky,” he says, raising himself up on his elbows to survey the mess smeared on and between their bodies. “We’re both sticky,” he amends, giving Sarawat a flustered little smile.

Sarawat reaches out a long arm, fumbling without looking for the first stray piece of cloth he can find. “Here,” he says, dabbing it around Tine’s chest and belly. “Towel.”

“That’s my shirt,” Tine protests.

“I’ll lend you another one. Tine…” He waits until his boyfriend meets his eyes. “You really are, you know. Beautiful.” He reaches out to caress Tine’s kiss-swollen mouth with his fingertips. “Sorry I made your lips sore.”

Tine’s lips curve up at the corners. “Sorry I compared you to a car-chasing dog,” he replies, bending his head to kiss the tip of Sarawat’s nose. “I’m going to take a shower, OK? Alone,” he adds as Sarawat opens his mouth to ask. “But I’ll stay the night if you don’t mind.”

Sarawat grins. “I will never mind if you spend the night. Consider it a standing invitation. Can I do one thing before you shower, though?”

Tine cocks his head inquisitively. “What?”

“This.” With one smooth motion, Sarawat levers himself up enough to press a lingering, open-mouthed kiss to Tine’s left nipple, teasing it with wet laps of his tongue until it hardens enough to suckle. Lest its mate feel ignored, he brings a hand up to the right nipple, pinching it between thumb and forefinger—lightly at first, then harder as he hears Tine’s soft moan. He finishes up with a series of love bites to the nipple and surrounding skin, some soft, some sharper, carefully noting Tine’s reaction to each as he tries to map the boundary between pleasure and pain. 

There’s so much to explore. So much to learn. 

“I changed my mind,” says Tine hoarsely. “You can join me in the shower.”

Chapter Text

Tine has game.

Tine has serious game, and Sarawat is not even a little prepared for this reality. 

He’s not sure why it comes as such a surprise to him. After all, he’d seen Tine take confident control in bed the other night when they got off together. Not to mention the sequel in the shower, where Sarawat only managed to soap up Tine’s chest while Tine lathered up Sarawat’s...well, everything...so thoroughly that his knees went weak and he had to lean against the shower stall for support. 

But even with all that evidence, somehow Sarawat’s still fixed on this mental image of the shy Tine who’d been dumbstruck by his flirting. The Tine who reacted to being kissed by freezing up like a frightened rabbit under the shadow of a hawk. The Tine who blushes.

Not this other Tine, this wolf in bunny’s clothing whose only apparent hangup was accepting that he could have feelings for a guy at all—and who, having cleared that mental hurtle, is now eyeing Sarawat like a starving man looks at his next meal.

Tine has serious game, Tine is horny as hell, and Sarawat is pretty sure he’s going to lose his mind before either of them loses their ass-virginity.

Is ass-virginity really a thing?  Sarawat wonders. 

Note to self: Ask Tine.

He makes the mistake of doing just that, and gets back a three-word text in reply:
Not for long.

And it’s accompanied by a peach emoji.

Oh yeah. Tine has game, and it’s going to be the death of him.

 

MONDAY

They’re at music club, where the agenda is to watch several of the club’s ensembles perform pieces they’re preparing for an all-university talent show. It’s a good rehearsal opportunity for the performers and a chance for the others to hone their constructive critique skills. 

But it also means that only a few members at a time are performing while the others stand by and watch. The perfect opportunity, in other words, for Sarawat to put an arm around his cute boyfriend’s shoulders and give him a side hug. Tine smiles and leans into it, slipping his own arm around Sarawat’s waist to give him a little squeeze…

...on the ass cheek

Sarawat nearly gives himself whiplash turning his head to stare at Tine. Granted, they’re standing at the very back of the group of observers; they’re both tall and it’s courteous not to block the shorter students. Still, that was a damn bold move from Tine in public. 

His boyfriend gives him a beatific smile, all angelic sweetness even as his hand moves higher, slipping under Sarawat’s shirt where it hangs untucked at the waist. A smooth palm caresses the small of his back, two fingers just barely teasing their way under the waistband of Sarawat’s trousers. 

Tine. Has his hand. In Sarawat’s pants. At music club.

Laughing silently at Sarawat’s shocked expression, Tine slides his hand higher again, settling it warmly at the dip of Sarawat’s waist just above the hip. There it stays for the duration of the selection the jazz ensemble is performing, of which Sarawat hears not a single note. 

“Sounded great, guys,” he mumbles when it’s his turn to provide feedback. “Maybe a little more intensity on the bridge, though?” He breathes a sigh of relief when the musicians nod and smile; apparently the song did indeed have a bridge. 

“What was that, Nuisance?” he hisses to Tine as the next group takes their place at the front of the room.

“I don’t know what you mean,” Tine replies, all innocence. 

But when Sarawat glares at him, he winks.

 

TUESDAY

They’re not even sitting next to each other. Tine is seated across the lunch table from Sarawat,  flanked by Peuk and Ohm, as their newly combined friend group squabbles good-naturedly about which movie to see tomorrow night when they’re all miraculously free of other obligations.

Tine catches Sarawat’s eye as he finishes the last piece of chicken in curry sauce on his plate. Gaze still locked on his boyfriend, he dips his forefinger in the remaining sauce and pops it into his mouth all the way to the third knuckle before slowly, slowly, sliding it out again with a little flick of his tongue to the tip.

Sarawat does a spit-take and begins to choke, spewing juice everywhere while a concerned Man pounds him between the shoulder blades.

 

WEDNESDAY

They’re at the cinema with the whole gang, watching an artsy horror film that Sarawat is quite enjoying—both for its twisty plot and the frequent jump-scares that have Tine clutching at him every time. At first Sarawat thinks Tine is faking it, that this is another player move of his to get his hands on Sarawat in public and drive him crazy—but after a particularly gruesome body-horror scene has Tine practically crawling into his lap, Sarawat feels the involuntary shudder that runs through his boyfriend’s body and realizes that no, Tine is genuinely freaked out.

“Hey,” he whispers close to Tine’s ear, “do you want to leave? We don’t have to watch this if you don’t like it.” 

Tine just shakes his head and presses his face deeper into Sarawat’s shoulder, and Sarawat gets it; their friends are good guys and totally there when it really matters, but they’d give Tine shit for days if he fled from a horror movie like a scared little girl—and they’d bring it up again at every future movie outing until the end of time. So Sarawat fumbles between them for the button that releases the armrest, and with that barrier removed Tine sprawls sideways so Sarawat can get both arms around him and pretend they’re just going overboard with the PDA. Which new boyfriends are totally entitled to do, right? And Tine sighs a grateful “thank you” and nuzzles into his neck, which is sweet.

Five minutes later, though, Tine’s hand is inching up Sarawat’s inseam under cover of darkness and Sarawat is frozen in place, certain that a brightly lit scene will illuminate the theater at any moment to reveal him in an erotic tableau with Tine stroking his crotch.

Thankfully Tine just cups Sarawat through his jeans briefly and then retreats, but the damage is done: Sarawat will now forever be aroused by the scent of popcorn and gummy bears.

 

THURSDAY

Tine eats a cherry popsicle in front of him. 

That’s it. That's all. But it’s enough.

 

FRIDAY

“Why do you look so poleaxed?” asks Boss as he and Man join Sarawat for lunch at the canteen. Sarawat’s already been there awhile, meeting Tine for the scant thirty minutes their schedules overlap on Fridays—and as his friends sit down he’s still staring slack-jawed in the direction Tine has just disappeared.

Sarawat just shakes his head. He’s not the kiss-and-tell type. But he can still feel the clandestine touch of Tine’s tongue on the pulse point of his throat, where his boyfriend—the one Sarawat thought was shy —managed to kiss him while leaning over to murmur a goodbye.

But Tine hadn’t just said goodbye. Oh, no. What the enticing little bastard had breathed into Sarawat’s ear was, “I’ll be in your bed tonight.”

“Is it hot in here?” Sarawat says, struggling to his feet. “I feel like it’s really hot in here. I’m going to get some air.”

Fresh air does help. But what he really needs, Sarawat realizes, is advice. And he knows just the gay to give it to him.

~

“Well, isn’t this an interesting little turn of events?” gloats Green over iced coffee (for Sarawat) and strawberry layer cake (for Green) half an hour later. “You coming to me for love advice!”

They’re seated in the back corner of a bakery cafe more than a mile from campus, Sarawat being paranoid about being overheard by anyone he knows. Or has ever known. Or may ever know at any point in the future.

“Not love,” Sarawat corrects him. “Sex. And if you tell anyone, and I mean anyone, the deal’s off.”

Green makes a show of zipping his lips with a flamboyant flourish. “No worries, darling. Tickets to a concert of P’Dim’s favorite band, in time for his birthday? I’d keep secrets from my own mother for that. Besides,” he adds as he daintily dabs whipped cream from his lips with a napkin, “I think it’s so sweet that you want to make sure the scrumptious Tine enjoys his first time.”

Sarawat stares down at his coffee, swirling it to rattle the ice in the nearly empty cup. “It’s not his first time,” he says, knowing he sounds sulky and hating himself for it. “His first time was with a girl.”

“Oh, sweetie.” Green gives Sarawat a sympathetic pat on the back of the hand. “Are you really fretting about that? First of all, virginity doesn’t deserve all the fetishizing it gets. All it usually means is that things are a lot faster, more awkward and less satisfying than they will be later on, and that’s not exactly a selling point, is it? And secondly…” Green leans forward and lowers his voice confidentially. “Tine’s experience with some teenage girl’s pussy is not going to compare in any way to getting a good dicking down from a sexy hunk like you.”

Sarawat makes a strangled sound. He can feel his face growing hot and knows he must be the color of a prize-winning beet right now. But he asked for this, right? So he’s got to see it through. It’s for Tine, he reminds himself, and that straightens his spine. Any amount of embarrassment is worth it if it means he can give Tine a night to remember.

“I’m just worried,” he admits. “What if it's no good for him? What do I do if he really is completely straight and tonight is a total disaster?”

The other man regards him thoughtfully, his warm brown eyes kind and sympathetic. “Then you hug him and thank him for trying his best to give the two of you a chance,” he says, “and you kiss him goodbye. You’re not an asshole to him about a sexual orientation he can’t control. And you don’t hang on hoping some miracle will occur and he’ll turn gay for you. You’re honest with him and yourself.”

Green smiles then, but it’s a bittersweet smile. “And then you cry your little heart out the minute he’s gone,” he says, “and probably a hundred times afterwards. But eventually you heal, and one day you find another sweet boy—this time one who can love you back and make you happy.”

Sarawat wants to deny it, wants to argue that there’s never going to be anybody for him but Tine. But he knows Green is right. If Tine can’t love him in return, body and soul, then he’s not the one and no amount of wanting and wishing will change it. 

“Don’t look so tragic, honey,” Green says gently. “I think the odds are pretty good you’ve got a bi boy on your hands here.”

“You really think so?”

“Well, of course! You’re a sexy beast, Sarawat, but I don’t know many straight-as-an-arrow boys who’d even fake-date you for the whole world to see. Much less make out with you. There has been making out, right? You aren’t going from zero to a hundred with this sexytimes plan of yours?”

“There’s been making out,” Sarawat admits. “A lot of kissing, and a few nights ago...well, more than kissing. I’m not going to say more than that, OK?”

“Aww, you’re such a gentleman,” Green coos. “All right, I won’t pry...much as I’d love the dirty details. But he seemed into it?”

“Very,” Sarawat says, flushing as he remembers the heated motion of Tine’s body on his.

“To the point of, um, conclusion for either or both of you?”

“Yes. Both.”

“And no panic before, during, or after?”

“Not at all.”

Green beams and rubs his hands together gleefully. “Excellent! I’m upgrading your bi-boy chances from ‘pretty good’ to ‘extremely good’ then. So let’s dive into the plans for your evening, shall we? What do you want to know that the internet couldn’t tell you?”

Sarawat swallows hard. Words don’t always come easy for him, except of course when he’s flirting outrageously with a certain beautiful boy, but this is really a moment of truth. For Tine, he thinks, and dives into the deep end.

~

An hour later, Sarawat’s mind is reeling with a treasure trove of information about lubrication, preparation, hygiene, prostate stimulation, the most foolproof positions for beginners, the best local sources for certain useful toys and supplies, and—perhaps most importantly—common fears of first-time bottoms and how to counter them. 

He also has an entirely new level of respect for Green, who’s been as sensitive as he is informative. Sarawat never would’ve imagined himself becoming actual friends with Green, but after this? Yeah, he can see it. When he’s not pretending to stalk Sarawat’s beloved, Green is smart, helpful, funny and kind, a combination of traits that’s pretty damn rare in Sarawat’s experience.

“Wait a minute, though,” Green says suddenly as Sarawat is wrapping up their conversation with his genuine thanks and a promise to follow up soon with the concert tickets. “Aren’t you forgetting something? What about you?”

“Huh?” Sarawat says blankly. “Me?”

“Yes, dummy, you. The actual virgin? The other person in this hypothetical sex that’s happening tonight? You’ve been so worried about making it good for Tine that you haven’t asked me a single question about how to make it good for you.”

Sarawat blinks. “Oh. Well. I hadn’t really thought about it. I mean, Tine will be there, naked, and there will be orgasms—I figured that would pretty much guarantee a good time for me.”

Green bursts out laughing at that. “That’s probably true. But I do have a couple of pointers for you, if you want them. And after that, one question just to satisfy my own curiosity.”

“OK, sure.” Sarawat settles back into his chair, chin on his hands. “Fire away.”

“First, I highly recommend that you jerk off shortly before Tine shows up. Oh, don’t look so shocked! This is highly practical advice here.” Green smirks a little. “Let’s face it, you’ve been anticipating this so long that it’ll be over in seconds if you don’t take the edge off.”

“O-kayyyy then,” Sarawat agrees in a too-hearty voice. “Great. Um. Thanks. What else?”

“Keep an open mind about roles. Right now you’re making some assumptions, but until you’ve actually experimented together...who knows what you’ll like? Maybe you’re really a bossy bottom at heart, not a top at all. Or maybe you and Tine will enjoy switching it up. Don’t lock each other into one role so early in your relationship, and for the love of god ignore anything about roles that you see in BL or yaoi. Most of that shit’s written by straight women for a straight-chick audience, and a big chunk of it is fetishy and toxic as hell.”

Sarawat nods as though he knows exactly what Green is talking about, while making a mental note to look up BL and yaoi later. “OK. Will do. Thanks, Green—I really do appreciate it. All of it, I mean. You’ve been great.”

Green just shrugs and gives him a bright smile. “My pleasure, sweetie. We gay boys have to look out for one another, you know?” He gets to his feet and gathers his dirty dishes to bus.

“You said you had a question for me, though?” Sarawat prompts as he follows suit.

“Oh! Yes, I just wondered, why did you decide to ask me for advice? Why not P’Dim? You know him much better, and he takes the...er...same role you’re expecting to take.”

Sarawat frowns. It had honestly never occurred to him to talk to Dim, for one very glaring reason.

“Because Tine told me P’Dim hurt you,” he explains. “I never want to hurt Tine, ever. I asked you because I know you’re kind.”

To Sarawat it’s just common sense. He doesn’t understand why Green suddenly hugs him hard, his eyes overflowing with tears.

Chapter Text

Tine paces back and forth outside the student union’s Rainbow Lounge, home to the university’s LGBT+ club. Edging closer. Backing away. Hotter. Colder. Lather, rinse, repeat.

He knows it’s stupid to hesitate. They’re just people in there, students like himself, maybe even some he knows. But somehow crossing that threshold feels more like a terrifying leap of faith than a couple of steps.

It’s for Sarawat, he reminds himself sternly. To make sure I don’t screw this up for Sarawat.  

That does the trick. On his next circuit, he doesn’t pass the open door pretending not to see it, he makes a hard left and steps inside.

The Rainbow Lounge lives up to its name. The big front room is dominated by a bright pink sofa and a half-circle of chairs in red, yellow, blue, orange, purple, and green, and there’s a rainbow mural painted on the back wall above a set of bookcases crammed with titles about gender identity and sexuality. On a facing wall there’s a counter with a coffeemaker, teapot, and a variety of snacks, and above it a bulletin board advertising everything from a lecture by a visiting lesbian artist to free STD testing. Another wall, this one mostly glass, separates the main lounge from a meeting area with a conference table and overhead projector. It’s all bright, cheerful, and inviting, and Tine feels some of the tension in his midsection relax.

There are two people in the lounge, a Nigerian who Tine remembers meeting at an international music event on campus—his name was something like Usman or Uman—who’s slouched in one of the colorful chairs scowling at a textbook, and a tiny Thai student sitting cross-legged on the sofa. The latter looks up with a dazzling smile, and Tine blinks in confusion.

Hi, Nong!” says the small person. “I’m Gem, one of the peer counselors here. Are you just here to hang out, or did you want to talk to somebody?”

Tine makes a hesitant wai in greeting. “Um. Hi, P’Gem, I’m Tine. And...talk please, khrab.” 

Gem unfolds and gets up from the sofa, waving Tine forward. “Great! Do you want something to drink? We’ve got that stuff over there,” Gem says, gesturing to the beverage counter, “or else there’s soda and water in the meeting-room fridge.”

“Just water would be great, khrab,” Tine says, following Gem to the other room.

Gem grabs two bottles of water from the refrigerator, handing one to Tine, and motions him to one of the chairs around the conference table. “So what are your pronouns, Nong Tine? Mine are they/them.”

“He/him,” Tine says, taking the indicated chair. “Oh! So that’s why you didn’t use khrab or kha, P’Gem? I’m sorry,” he adds hastily, “I don’t mean to offend. I’m very new to all this so I apologize if I say the wrong thing.”

“No worries.” Gem takes the chair beside his, swiveling it to face him and arranging themself cross-legged on its seat, a position Tine is already recognizing as a very Gemlike thing to do even on such short acquaintance.  “And yes, that’s why. It’s one of those very gendered parts of our language that doesn’t lend itself well to nonbinary people.”

“I see. I’d never really thought about it, but now that you mention it...my transgender women friends switched to using kha when they came out. I remember noticing it at the time.”

Gem nods vigorously. “People sometimes notice that I don’t use either one, but I think they usually just assume I’m rude.” They smile and shrug, and Tine thinks that Gem is a very appealing person, with big bright eyes, a cute little rosebud mouth, and a stylish sidecut hairstyle with a purple forelock falling over one eye. 

They both crack open their water bottles nearly in unison as Tine considers how to open the conversation that brought him here. “I’ve never been here before,” he says finally. “I guess I never thought it was a place for me, you know? But things have changed.”

“Let me guess,” says Gem, “because of you and Sarawat?” 

Tine groans, clapping a hand to his head. “What the hell? Does everyone in this entire university follow the Sarawat’s Wives group?”

Gem chuckles. “Well, word gets around when the football star starts wooing the boy cheerleader. And isn’t it called Sarawatine Support Team now?”

“The original group is,” Tine says glumly, “but there’s a splinter group that wants to break us up. I’m not sure what they’re calling themselves this week. Last week it was Tine Must Die, but the administration cracked down on them for hate speech.” 

“Seriously?” Gem grimaces at Tine’s nod. “Goddamn homophobes. I’m sorry, that must’ve been really upsetting for you.”

“Yeah. Yeah, I...I’m not used to being a target like that. Sarawat went ballistic, and my friends were really upset too. They laughed about it at first, but then one of them joined the group and saw what the girls were actually saying in there. And it was pretty awful.” Tine takes a long swig of his water, wishing he could forget what Ohm told him about the vicious rants in the closed group. “Apparently I’m this—this evil conniving seducer who ‘turned’ Sarawat. Never mind that he’s never had a girlfriend and always knew he was gay, right? I’m the obstacle between them and their dream boyfriend. And they had all kinds of sick ideas about how to tear us apart.” 

Tine thought he was over this, but as he describes it to Gem he feels his eyes sting with unshed tears. Without a word Gem reaches for the tissue box in the middle of the table and shoves it into arm’s reach.

“If it happens again,” they say, “come see us here. We have a liaison to the university administration who helps with reports of harassment and discrimination. You don’t have to do this alone.”

Tine dabs at his eyes with one of the tissues and then crumples it into his fist. “Thanks. It’s not what I came here to talk about, but it’s good to know. Really good.”

Gem nods and makes a little go-ahead gesture with their hands. “Fire away, Nong.”

“OK. Well. You guessed right, it’s about Sarawat and me. Mostly me, I suppose.” He shoots Gem an anxious glance. “This is confidential, right?”

“Absolutely, positively, one hundred percent. The only exception,” they add, “is if I’ve got reason to believe you’re a danger to yourself or others. Suicidal, for example.”

“God, no, nothing like that. I’m just...confused.”

Gem grins, and Tine thinks again that they’re really so cute. “We hear that a lot, trust me. Tell me about the confusion.”

So Tine briefly sketches out the backstory, or at least the pieces of it that Gem wouldn’t have already picked up from the university grapevine: Green’s pursuit, the fake-dating scheme, and the eventual revelation that for Sarawat at least, the feelings were never fake. And then his own confused swirl of emotions.

“I always thought I was straight,” Tine says, “so I tried to tell myself that I just didn’t want to hurt Sarawat by turning him down flat. Because whatever else was going on with us, he was becoming one of my best friends, you know? I cared about him. And all he asked was that I keep my heart open to the possibility, which didn’t sound so scary.”

This time Gem’s laugh is almost a snort. “Oh, it sounds plenty scary to me. So you figured you’d go along with that, spend some time together, and then let him down easy when it became clear you didn’t share his feelings?”

“Yeah.” Tine takes another sip of water. “And it almost worked, except suddenly there was kissing. I mean, there’d been kissing before, twice, but both times that was Sarawat catching me by surprise, and me just freezing up out of shock. But the third time…”

“Third time’s the charm, like the saying says?”

“Oh, yeah. In a big way.” 

Tine is silent a moment, remembering the look in Sarawat’s eyes—the soft adoration and naked longing that Tine had never seen directed at him by another living soul, not even the most serious of his past girlfriends. Remembering too how his own eyes had dropped involuntarily to Sarawat’s mouth, which even a straight guy would have to admit is fucking gorgeous, just aesthetically, all right? The perfect Cupid’s bow of the top lip, the enticing fullness of the lower, and when he smiles —god, it’s enough to tempt a saint. And no matter how often Sarawat tells him he looks like an angel, Tine is no saint. 

“Can I—?” Sarawat had started to say at the same moment Tine said, “Wat, maybe we—” and somehow by the time they’d finished laughing at their own awkwardness, both of them were leaning in for their mouths to meet. 

The strangest thing about it, Tine thought afterwards, was that it wasn’t strange at all. It was perfect. Almost dreamlike. Gentle and sweet, soft and tender, lingering on as Tine’s eyes fluttered shut and Sarawat’s hands came up to cup his face. When it ended, Tine made a soft sound of protest and chased Sarawat’s lips for a second helping. Four or five progressively greedier kisses later, they were locked in one another’s arms, Tine breathless and hard and wondering exactly how straight he wasn’t.

“But I just wasn’t sure,” he says now, “and I’m still not sure, whether that means I’m really into guys or I’m just into Sarawat.”

“Does it matter?” asks Gem.

Tine looks at them, startled. “Of course it does. Doesn’t it?”

“You tell me,” Gem says with a shrug. “Right now you’re with Sarawat. Not firmly committed, maybe, but you like him. And you’re finding that you’re physically attracted to him too. What would change if you knew for certain that you could feel that way about other men who aren’t Sarawat?”

“Change?”

“Yes. Would you want to date around? Play the field?”

“No!” Tine rocks back in his chair, a little startled by his own vehemence. “No,” he repeats more quietly. “I just want to be with Wat. See where this goes.”

“Then does your label really matter?” Gem asks. “Don’t get me wrong—if it’s important to you to be certain whether you’re gay or bi or something else, that’s completely valid and we can talk about that. But whatever you’re confused about, it doesn’t seem to be whether you’re attracted to Sarawat.”

Tine thinks of last weekend, of his hands exploring Sarawat’s skin and his body urgently responding to Sarawat’s touch. “No,” he says, a little unsteadily. “That’s...pretty much proven by now.”

“So what’s worrying you the most?” 

“Hurting him,” Tine says at once. “He cares so much. Not that I don’t, OK? But Wat’s had this crush on me for a year. From first sight. And sure, I’ve been feeling the attraction, enough to be pretty eager to take it further—I’ve been letting him know all week that I’m ready for that. But today it just hit me. And I guess I sort of panicked.”

“What hit you?”

Tine’s hands tighten around the water bottle. “That up to now we haven’t done anything that I didn’t already try with a girl. Well, except touching a penis. But I have one of my own so that isn’t exactly alien territory, you know?”

“Ah, I get it,” Gem says knowingly. “You’re planning to take your sexual intimacy to the next level. What some people would consider the gay level, right? Like performing fellatio or having anal intercourse? You don’t have to answer that in any detail,” they add quickly. “I just want to understand if that’s what you’re worried about.”

Tine ducks his head, feeling his cheeks growing warm. “It is,” he admits. “Because what if that’s the limit for me? What if I’m genuinely straight and I don’t find that out until Sarawat is already trying to—to make love to me? God, I can’t even imagine how awful that would be for him.”

The peer counselor quirks an eyebrow. “For him? What about for you, Nong?”

“Me?” Time waves a dismissive hand. “I’d get over it. I’m just worried about hurting Wat.”

Gem shakes their head, smiling at him with what Tine can only describe as gentle pity. “Oh, Nong. I may not be able to give you a convenient label for your sexual orientation, but I do know one thing for sure.”

“What’s that?”

“You’re in love with Sarawat.” 

Well, of course I am, Tine thinks. And then, Wait. I am? 

Yeah. Fuck. I absolutely am.

Once again, Tine discovers, the strangest thing about it is that it isn’t strange at all.

Chapter Text

There are certain moments with Tine that are etched so indelibly in Sarawat’s mind that he can call them up in memory as clear as any high-res photograph. He even thinks of them that way, as snapshots in time, each with its own caption.

Hello, Angel: The instant he saw the joyful face of a then-nameless boy who stepped on his foot at a Scrubb concert, a boy so alight with happiness that he glowed. An incandescent being with the face of an angel. Sarawat could barely look at him directly without feeling weak in the knees. 

You Again: The astonishing moment when that same boy—the one Sarawat truly believed he’d never see again in this lifetime—came loping up to him on their university campus, a horde of manic girls at his heels. His face was serious this time, even anxious, but every bit as beautiful as Sarawat remembered. It rendered him literally speechless. His angel boy was here.  After all this time. Here and trying to talk to Sarawat, whose brain promptly short-circuited so badly that instead of taking the luminous boy’s hand and tenderly promising him the sun, moon, and stars, Sarawat first turned his back on him and then compounded that sin by wheeling around to deliver outright rudeness. He did manage one true sentence, though: “Keep looking at me like that and I will kiss you senseless.”

Music In Motion: This one is a composite of all the times he watched Tine’s face as he listened to Scrubb songs. Face transformed by wonder, lips curving up in a delighted smile, body gently swaying as though Tine was adrift in a current of the music he loved so much. 

I’m On Fire: The heart-stopping moment Sarawat first saw Tine wearing nothing but a towel low on his hips—and instantly felt the sweet warmth of infatuation ignite into something that set his blood on fire. He had to fix his gaze on Tine’s chest because if he met his eyes Tine surely would’ve seen, would’ve known. 

And then there’s right now, this very moment, its caption yet to be written although Sarawat hopes to god it’ll be Together: Tine, naked in his arms.

~

ONE HOUR EARLIER

Tine’s not panicking. Not one little bit. Nope, nope, nope.

OK, maybe a little.

The nerves don’t hit right away. Sure, he’s a little anxious, but that’s easy to ignore when Sarawat opens his door looking like a whole meal in close-fitting jeans and a black tank top, freshly showered with his hair still damp and towel-rumpled. He also looks a little sheepish, and Tine might’ve stopped to wonder why if Sarawat weren’t already reaching out to tug him close for a kiss. 

“Hello, Nuisance,” Sarawat murmurs just before their mouths meet.

Tine’s had his share of kisses, so he’s got some basis for comparison when he admits—if only to himself—that Sarawat’s kisses are the best he’s ever had. He blames Sarawat’s mouth for that, those irresistible too-perfect lips. But there’s also a subtle difference in how he and Sarawat kiss, something that goes beyond the novel experience of kissing someone close to his own height or feeling a little scratch of stubble. With past girlfriends, kissing always felt like something Tine did to his partner, or at least initiated. With Sarawat, though, it feels like a mutual act they create together, fed by their shared desire until it takes on a life of its own.

This one is soft and unhurried, a leisurely slide of mouth on mouth, with just the briefest touch of tongue tips before they draw apart. Hello, you.

“Hi,” breathes Tine. “You smell good.” He does, of shampoo and vanilla-scented body wash, with just a hint of something lightly musky underneath that’s uniquely Sarawat.

“You look good,” Sarawat counters, ushering him further into the room and tossing Tine’s messenger bag onto the bench beside the door. “Date-night good. Are we going out for dinner? I just ordered delivery from the noodle place you like but it’s not too late to cancel.”

Tine looks down at his own clothing, suddenly self-conscious. This is a date, right? Even if they weren’t planning to go out? He’d dressed to impress in strategically ripped black skinny jeans, black canvas deck shoes, and a deep blue dress shirt with ornate silver buttons, the sleeves rolled up to show his forearms and a braided leather cuff on his left wrist.

“No, takeout is great,” he says. “I just…”

Sarawat steps closer again, one big hand palming the back of Tine’s neck as he claims another quick kiss. “Just what, tua woon wai? Wanted to look good for me?”

“Yeah, maybe I did,” Tine says with a scowl. The admission makes him feel off balance, as though Sarawat has just scored a point in some undefined game. To level the playing field, he leans in to press a kiss just below Sarawat’s right ear and murmurs, “I dressed up for you to undress me. Got a problem with that?” 

Sarawat’s only answer is a sharp hiss of breath before he takes Tine’s mouth again, the hand on the back of his neck tightening possessively as Tine melts into the kiss with a hungry little sigh. Tine wraps his arms around Sarawat’s waist, caressing the small of his back—one of his favorite spots on his boyfriend’s body, along with the line of his jaw, the hollow between his collarbones, and all ten of his clever, nimble fingers. Probably he’ll discover new favorites tonight. A flush of heat runs through Tine’s body at the thought.

A sudden sharp knock sends them reeling back from each other with a startled jerk.  As Sarawat opens the door to the delivery boy from the noodle shop, Tine realizes that he’s a little grateful for the interruption; things were getting too intense too fast. To steady his nerves he busies himself setting out cutlery and two plates on Sarawat’s tiny table, noticing with a smile that Sarawat has already set out placemats, white linen napkins, and a yellow bud vase with sprigs of frangipani. He’s not the only one treating this as a date night.

“Singha beer or plum iced tea?” Sarawat asks from his tiny kitchenette, which consists of a short length of counter with a microwave, hotplate and mini-fridge. 

Tine chooses the beer, figuring it’ll help him relax a little and lower his inhibitions for the necessary conversation to come. Gem the peer counselor had been frank about the importance of good communication before, during, and after sex, and had given Tine some sample scripts that he’d studied as though cramming for a big exam.

They’ve made a sizable dent in their takeout food and they’re sipping a second round of beers before Tine decides it’s time to shift from small talk about music and football to the big topic at hand. For added courage, he stretches out his legs to capture one of Sarawat’s ankles between his own.

“Wat, can we talk a little?”

An uneasy, wary look passes over Sarawat’s face. “I thought we were.”

“About tonight, I mean. About...what we want tonight to be.”

Sarawat nods cautiously. “Sure. Of course.”

After another sip of beer and two deep breaths, Tine takes the plunge. “I know I’ve come on pretty strong this week,” he says, “so I won’t try to pretend I’m not interested in having sex. But I don’t want you to feel pressured. If this feels too soon to you, I’m perfectly OK with waiting. You know that, right? We could just do what we did last weekend, or a lot less even, and I’d still consider it a good night.”

The concern in Sarawat’s face eases, replaced by a sweet lopsided smile. “I’m happy just to be with you too, Nuisance,” he says, putting down his fork to take Tine’s hand. “But I’d also like to get you naked.”

Tine can feel his cheeks growing pink. It’s a curse, being both fair and thin-skinned, so that every strong emotion lights up his face. 

“That’s all right then,” he says to his plate, suddenly finding it difficult to meet Sarawat’s eyes. What was the next part of Gem’s script? Oh, that’s right… “I brought some supplies,” he blurts out. “In case we need them.”

Sarawat raises an eyebrow. “Supplies? I’m guessing you don’t mean a spare toothbrush.”

“Very funny, Saraleo. You know I mean condoms.”

“I got some too,” Sarawat admits. “And lube. But like you said...if it feels too soon, we can wait.”

Tine lifts their joined hands to his lips to kiss Sarawat’s fingertips, feeling absurdly pleased when he sees how strongly Wat reacts, feels the little shiver travel through his body. 

“Not too soon,” he says, “but let’s take it slow and talk as we go, na? Make sure we’re on the same page all the way?”

They’ve finished the meal as they talked, and in silent consensus they work together to clear the table and wash the few dishes in the apartment’s tiny sink. Tine dries, and after he’s put away the last dish he loops the towel around Sarawat’s neck and uses it to pull him in close. He feels Sarawat’s fingers slip into the open neck of his shirt, tracing the V of skin there. 

“You always look so beautiful,” Sarawat says into the softness of Tine’s hair. “Sometimes I still can’t believe I’m allowed to touch you.”

Tine makes a soft needy sound as Sarawat’s fingers make short work of his shirt buttons and begin to explore the body beneath, his touch eager and curious. “Allowed? I’d say encouraged.”

Sarawat leaves a trail of kisses from the corner of Tine’s mouth all the way down his neck, with lingering stops along the way. “I’m shooting for begged,” he says, and with that he bites down sharply on Tine’s shoulder.

Sarawat.” Tine doesn’t even try to disguise the raw desire in his voice. “Oh god, come here. I need my hands on you.” He tosses the towel aside to scrabble at the hem of Sarawat’s tank top, yanking it impatiently up and off. Leaning back against the counter, he pulls Sarawat against him to press the full length of their bodies together. 

For several heated minutes they just make out right there, Sarawat grinding his hips slowly against Tine as they kiss and Tine’s hands exploring his bare skin from throat to waist. It turns out that while Tine may still be a beginner at guitar, with the guitarist he’s a fucking virtuoso. His fingers play skillful arpeggios up and down Sarawat’s spine and his mouth draws a whole repertoire of moans, sighs, and mewls from Sarawat’s lips. It’s sweeter than any music Tine’s ever heard, even Scrubb’s. He’s never had a partner so vocal and responsive as Sarawat, and it’s making him seriously question that whole “go slow” plan.

Still, even in the heat of the moment Tine can’t help remembering Gem’s advice. “Good communication about sex doesn’t have to be a mood-killer,” they’d said. “In fact it can heighten the mood if you play it right.”

Tine resolves to at least give it a try. “Tell me,” he manages to pant at a moment they come up for air. “Sarawat, tell me…”

Sarawat raises his head, his lips kiss-reddened and his eyes lust-drunk. “That I love you?” he says softly. “Because I do. I’m crazy in love with you, Tine.”

“No, no,” says Tine, startled, and then he has to pause to kiss the dawning hurt off Sarawat’s face. “Wat, no, it’s great,” he says hastily between sweet reassuring kisses. “I—I’m glad, OK? Really, really glad. I just meant that’s not what I was going to ask.”

Thankfully Sarawat doesn’t seem embarrassed by the half-botched confession. “No? Well, it seemed like a good time to tell you anyway.” He kisses the tip of Tine’s nose. “What, then?”

Despite a rush of self-consciousness, Tine meets his gaze and holds it. Communication is good, he reminds himself. Communication is sexy. 

“Tell me what you want to do to me,” he says.

Sarawat stares at him. “Everything,” he says hoarsely. “Don’t you know that? I want it all. Every part of you, Tine, with every part of me.”

Tine’s not clear, afterwards, how they got across the room or onto Sarawat’s bed. Did they stumble there together? Did Sarawat pick him up? It’s all a blur of furious kisses and urgent touches and discarded clothing, until suddenly Tine is flat on his back with Sarawat over him, pinning Tine’s naked body to the mattress with his own, kissing him as though Tine is water and Sarawat’s just crossed the Sahara without a drop to drink.

“I want to kiss you,” Sarawat says, “until you drop.”

“You already did,” Tine whispers.

“I want to touch you where nobody else has ever touched you.”

Tine gazes up at him with both wonder and fear, hyperaware of every point of contact between their bodies: Sarawat’s thighs between his, the rough guitar-string calluses on the fingertips stroking his skin, the hard cock pressed between their bodies along with his own, the warm lean flanks under his palms. He can see the rapid pulse at Sarawat’s throat, feel the quickening cadence of his breath. 

It’s almost too much. It’s not nearly enough.

“Tell me,” Tine urges again. 

Sarawat nods, just a quick jerk of his chin. “If you tell me too.” He shifts, rearranging them both onto their sides facing one another and clasping both Tine’s hands in his. There’s something in his expression so open and vulnerable that it makes Tine’s heart ache. He looks like Tine feels, equal parts excited and scared. 

With an answering tip of his own chin, Tine brushes their lips together. “I want your mouth on my nipples,” he says, knowing Sarawat’s near-fetish for his chest. “Sucking them.”

Sarawat’s gaze drops downward and he swallows hard. “And if I want to suck somewhere else too?”

Be clear, Tine remembers Gem saying. Be specific. “I want that,” he says, closing his eyes against the tide of desire that floods his body at the thought. “I want your mouth on my cock. I want mine on yours.”

Sarawat makes a low, animal sound. “Fuck. Fuck, Tine, are you trying to kill me? I’ve wanted to see your lips around me since—oh, god. Probably ten minutes after I first saw your face. Your mouth is perfect. It drives me insane.”

He laughs shakily. “That’s my line, Saraleo. What else?”

“Shhh, I’m not done thinking about your mouth on my cock. God. If you let me come in your mouth I’ll probably die, Tine. Just so you know.”

“Can we—maybe work up to that part?” Tine asks. “I’m not sure I’m ready for it. Are you?”

Sarawat frees one hand from Tine’s to stroke his back reassuringly. “You don’t have to. But I’d try it for you.” His lips curve up in a shy smile, far shyer than his next words. “I want to know how your cum tastes.”

Somehow Tine manages to choke on air. “Sarawat.” 

The shy smile turns into a teasing grin. “What? You asked me. I’ll always give you what you ask for, Tine.”

“I want your fingers in me,” Tine blurts out. He’s turning crimson, he can feel it, but it’s worth it to hear Sarawat’s breath stutter and his next words come out as a low growl.

“Now? You want that now?” The hand on Tine’s back moves lower, stroking his buttocks. 

“Maybe not as the first thing. But yeah. I want that.” Emboldened by Sarawat's reactions, Tine works a hand between them to squeeze Sarawat’s hard length. “You’re not small, Wat. You’re going to have to work me open if you—if you want to—”

“If I want to fuck you?” With a low groan Sarawat thrusts his hips forward, pushing himself deeper into Tine’s fist. “I have dreams about fucking you, my beautiful Nuisance. I wasn’t sure if you’d want that, though.” His hand covers Tine’s, adjusting the tempo and pressure; Tine makes a mental note of his preference for the future.

“I can’t guarantee I’ll like it,” Tine admits. “I don’t know. How can I know? But I want you, I want to—to try everything you want to try. And I think about it. A lot.”

Sarawat is silent for a moment, using the break in the conversation to reach under his pillow and produce a small tube of lube. Tine obligingly loosens his hand to give Sarawat more access to apply it, making a pleased hum when the added lubrication creates an easier glide. He resumes the action with long, slow strokes, feeling his own cock throb as he watches Sarawat’s eyes narrow with pleasure. 

“You think about it.” There’s a note to Sarawat’s voice that Tine can’t quite identify, but it sends a shiver of pleasure down his spine. “You think. About me. Fucking you.”

Tine would roll his eyes if he weren’t so distracted by the way fine muscles in Sarawat’s face react as Tine continues to jack him. “A lot,” he adds sweetly. “You forgot that part.”

“Nnggghhh.” Sarawat’s eyes are the barest of slits now, his head thrown back. “Tell me,” he urges breathlessly. “Tell me while you make me come.”

This could get addicting, Tine thinks—the intoxicating sight and sound of Sarawat hovering on the brink, so close to breaking his body is trembling. It gives him such gloriously dirty thoughts. He nuzzles at Sarawat’s neck, close to his ear, to share them in a low murmur.

“I think about you pushing inside me,” he says in unison with tightening his fist. “Slow at first, a little worried about hurting me.”

“Never—want—to hurt you,” Sarawat moans.

“A centimeter at a time, working your way in,” Tine continues, “so sweet and considerate—such a good boyfriend—while all the time you’re dying to fuck me hard, to just fucking take me.”

“Oh my god.”

“Groaning with it,” Tine goes on relentlessly, feeling Sarawat’s trembling turn to full-blown shudders with the effort of holding back. “Wanting it so bad. Feeling me so hot and tight around your cock and wishing you could just pound into me, Wat, wishing you could hold me down and fuck me till I scream.”

“Oh my god, you’re a fucking demon.” Sarawat is breathing in harsh gasps, his back arching, his cock so hard in Tine’s hand that it’s like stroking an iron rod wrapped in velvet. 

“It’s what you dream, isn’t it? Be honest. Having me, using me—oh god, Sarawat, I want it. I want you slamming into me till it hurts, fucking me, coming in me—”

Tine.” WIth another low moan Sarawat’s whole body stiffens and he erupts, spilling the wet heat of his cum onto Tine’s fist and both their bellies. “Oh god, oh fuck, I—Tine. Tine.”

Tine kisses him then, kisses him and strokes him through the aftershocks until he can tell it’s becoming too excruciatingly sensitive for Sarawat. Even then he keeps murmuring, nearly as overcome by the moment as his boyfriend but still hanging there on the precipice, awaiting Sarawat’s touch. He’s painfully aroused and almost giddy with this newfound power to seduce and pleasure the very person who’s tried so long to seduce him.

“That’s it,” he croons. “God, you’re so gorgeous when you come. I want to see it again. Hear it again. You said my name, Wat. You came in my hand and said my name.”

Sarawat’s head drops onto Tine’s shoulder and he laughs helplessly. “Did I? I couldn’t hear myself. I could only hear you, trying to fucking kill me with your voice. Holy shit, Tine. Don’t tell me you learned that from a girl! I won’t believe you.”

Tine grabs a corner of the sheet and tugs it up to wipe them both, figuring they’ll need to change the linens anyway before tonight’s exertions are through. 

“I told you,” he says, stroking Sarawat’s hair. “I think about it a lot.” 

“Well, you’ve got one hell of an imagination.” Sarawat raises his head to gaze into Tine’s eyes. “Was that all talk? Fantasy, I mean? Or is that how you really want it?”

“Honestly? I have no idea.” Tine brushes a thumb across Sarawat’s lips and gets a nibble for his trouble. “Not the first time for sure—I did enough research to know you can’t just go all-out slam-bam-thank-you-man when somebody’s never done it before. Fantasy Tine might get off on it but Real Tine is pretty nervous that it’s gonna hurt. So I guess you’ll have to deflower my ass more gently.”

“I never want to hurt you,” Sarawat says, echoing the words he’d moaned earlier. “Tine…” His hands and his gaze both slide lower on Tine’s body. “Do you think it’s weird that we both jumped to the same conclusion without talking about it?”

Tine startles a little as Sarawat takes firm hold of him, then relaxes into the touch with a sigh. “About who’d be pitching versus catching, you mean?” 

“Yeah. It’s not that I wouldn’t be willing to try it the other way around, you know? But every time I pictured us being together…”

“...you were on top. Yeah, for me too,” Tine admits. “I’m not unwilling to try the other way either, but—fuck. You’re going to have to stop that if you expect me to talk, Wat. It’s—oh god—really fucking distracting.”

“Mm-hmm.” Sarawat pushes him onto his back and begins to kiss his way down Tine’s body. “Come for me first, talk later?” he suggests as he reaches Tine’s navel. 

 “Good plan,” Tine manages to say just as Sarawat’s mouth envelops him. It’s the last coherent phrase he’s able to form before his entire vocabulary is reduced to just three words: yes and Sarawat and please.

Chapter Text

Unlike a lot of gays he knows, Sarawat never had a phase of questioning his sexuality. He’s just always known. His first crush, first jerkoff fantasy, first wet dream—all boys. He may have fancied himself in love with Pam in high school but if he's honest it was never a physical love. He's never felt the slightest stirring of arousal for a girl, despite having an entire fan club eager to pursue him.

But if he had ever doubted it? Any confusion would be one hundred percent erased right now, because going down on Tine is the single most erotic experience of his life.

He’s pretty sure he starts out awful at it and it’s still  the most erotic experience of his life.

First, anytime he can get his mouth on Tine, any part of Tine, is a banner moment in Sarawat’s opinion. He pretty much wants to eat Tine alive 24/7 for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight snack. Having Tine spread out naked under him with all that smooth, kissable skin on display, blushing so beautifully with arousal, literally makes his mouth water.

And the way Tine yields. Dear god in heaven. Sarawat had no clue he’d be into that, especially given how turned on he’d been by Tine’s more assertive moments—but the way that Tine goes boneless and pliant as Sarawat kisses his way down his body is sexy as fuck. Tine’s head is thrown back on his pillow, lips parted, eyes closed; his arms are flung over his head and crossed at the wrist as though bound together; and the sound he makes when Sarawat experimentally places a hand loosely around his throat is obscene. Sarawat has to file that information for future reference because it’s way too much to handle right now, but his supposedly spent cock perks right up and takes notice. 

(That part of his anatomy is a big fan of Tine in every possible position, though. Sarawat has gotten erections just watching a fully clothed Tine reading a law textbook. In his defense, Tine tends to bite his lower lip when he concentrates.)

Sarawat takes his time. The journey, not the destination, right? And there are fascinating landmarks along the route from Tine’s lush mouth to his waiting cock. Sweet nipples to tease with his tongue and teeth, sixpack abs to admire, a taut waist to span with his big hands and squeeze, the dip of Tine’s navel to delve. Sarawat loves it all. 

Finally, though, he reaches the promised land of Tine’s loins and pauses a moment to admire the view, because damn, Tine’s got a pretty cock. He’s about average in length but he’s thick and unlike the majority of Thai men he’s circumcised, so the tempting round plum of his glans is already on full display and blushing as sweetly pink as Tine’s cheeks. Sarawat can’t resist planting a lingering kiss on the tip, teasing the tiny slit with his tongue before attempting a gentle suction. 

“Sarawat,” Tine groans. “Oh god, Wat…”

Encouraged by the pleading note in Tine’s voice, Sarawat draws the entire head into his mouth, lusciously plump on his tongue. Tine smells of body wash and warm boy but tastes lightly of musk and salt. He tries a little nibble, just barely scraping the glans with his teeth, and is rewarded by another gasp of "Sarawat!" from his boyfriend. Humming with pleasure, he begins a slow rhythm with his hand at the base and his lips and tongue working the tip, gradually taking in more of Tine’s length with each repetition. He feels a little uncoordinated at first; this isn’t the angle he’s accustomed to from stroking himself, and he’s never had to consciously consider the limits of his gag reflex before. Why are bodies so inconvenient? The logistics of doing this the first time are distracting when all he really wants is to lose himself in the taste and feel of Tine.

God, Tine is stunning like this. He’s mostly nonverbal as Sarawat continues, other than the occasional gasp of “yes” or “please,” but Tine’s body is eloquent in its approval. His cock throbs on Sarawat’s tongue; his thighs loosen and part invitingly; his back takes on a pleading arch; his hands come down to fist in Sarawat’s hair and he moans, long and half-pained and gorgeous. Sarawat feels as powerful as a despotic king at that sound. He steps up the pace to draw that sound out of Tine again, wishing he could record it and put it on repeat the way Tine listens to Scrubb. That’s the sound of his boy wanting him, and it’s fucking beautiful.

Just as Sarawat’s jaw is starting to ache, he feels something nudge his free hand. He lifts his head, curious, and his eyes widen when he sees that Tine is trying to pass him the tube of lube. Sarawat is pretty sure he knows why, but this seems like a bad moment to assume.

“Tell me what you want,” he says. 

Tine’s face is lightly flushed, his gaze intent on Sarawat. He still looks like an angel, but a newly fallen one now. Sarawat wonders what’s wrong with him, that Tine’s look of wide-eyed, fresh-faced innocence makes him long so fiercely to wreck and sully it—to bite that pale clean skin, to draw filthy obscenities from those sweetly parted lips, to bend Tine into impossible positions and intrude into every nook and cranny of him, all his warm dark places, and oh god to come on Tine and in Tine…

“I want whatever you’re thinking when you look at me that way,” Tine says raggedly. “But let’s start with your fingers. Take it slow, though, OK?”

Sarawat nods, not trusting his voice, and takes the tube from Tine’s hand. 

~

In the movies, two people fall into bed together for the first time and everything is amazing. All the body parts meet as though choreographed, all the orgasms are satisfying and simultaneous, and nobody ever farts. Nothing hurts. Everything fits. It’s magical.

It’s a big fucking lie. 

In real life, Sarawat is already realizing, sex is messy. Messy, awkward, emotionally confusing, sometimes downright painful—and embarrassing. Holy fuck is it embarrassing. 

Fifteen minutes after Tine handed off that all-important tube, Sarawat’s bare ass is getting chilly, Tine’s erection is flagging, there’s lube everywhere, and he’s still struggling to work a second finger into an orifice that he’s increasingly convinced will never be able to accommodate his perversely eager dick.

Also? Tine is laughing.

“It’s not funny,” Sarawat grumbles, pressing a sullen kiss to Tine’s belly. “Also I hate you now.”

“It kind of is,” Tine insists, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand, “and no, you don’t. Wat, I’m not laughing at you, OK? You know I’m not.”

“I know no such thing.” Sarawat glares up at him from between Tine’s spread thighs. “I’m down here trying to do my best work and you’re up there snickering, you ingrate. What am I supposed to think?”

“I don’t know, that sex is supposed to be fun and bodies are ridiculous? I’m sorry! You just looked so serious and worried with your defusing-a-bomb face, and it struck me funny, that’s all. I really am sorry, I—” Suddenly Tine gives a little half-gasp and goes still. “Uh. Wat? Do that again.”

“Do what?”

“That thing with your finger. That...wiggle.”

“This?” Experimentally Sarawat repeats the little beckoning gesture with his forefinger, the one currently worked three knuckles deep in the tantalizing heat of Tine’s body.

“Uh...huh…” Tine’s voice has taken on a strangled tone that shouldn’t be sexy, but damned if it isn’t. “Oh god...”

Intrigued, Sarawat tries varying the angle and amount of force, alternating gentle thrusts of his finger with the crooking move, and is rewarded with the sweetest, filthiest moan from Tine. “You like that?”

“Ohfuckyes, don’t stop, don’t—”

Sarawat can’t suppress a little grin. Who’s laughing now, Pretty Boy?  he thinks with satisfaction, and dares to try again to work a second well-lubed finger into Tine’s warmth. This time he’s successful and Tine doesn’t just moan, he begs

“Fuck. More. I. Wat. Please, oh god—Sarawat, please.

Tine begging is the most powerful aphrodisiac Sarawat could ever imagine. His angel is well and truly fallen now, lightly sheened in sweat and writhing helplessly on Sarawat’s thrusting fingers, still tight but noticeably more yielding than before. Sarawat has never seen a more beautiful sight. He could get drunk on it. He wonders if he could make Tine come like this, just by fucking him with his fingers. 

He wants to know. He wants to know every secret Tine’s body can teach him. 

When he feels Tine’s hands tugging at his hair, he thinks at first that it’s just part of their sex play. But when Tine repeats it harder with a sharp “Sarawat!” it dawns on him that this is a stop-now signal, not an expression of passion. He halts at once, scanning Tine’s face for any signs of distress or pain. 

“What’s wrong?” he asks worriedly. “Was I too rough?”

Tine shakes his head fractionally. “Nothing’s wrong, I just—come here, all right? Just for a minute.”

Willing but baffled, Sarawat carefully extracts his fingers and wipes them on the edge of the sheet. He goes into the arms Tine opens for him, accepts the kiss Tine offers—slow and soft—and nuzzles the hand his boyfriend presses to his cheek. But all the while his brain is anxiously buzzing. Did he do something wrong? Is Tine nervous? Does he need reassuring? Is he changing his mind? Sarawat is just about to ask when Tine finally speaks again.

“You said something, earlier. Did you mean it?”

Oh. Fuck. Now he’s the one who’s nervous. “Yeah. I did.”

“Say it again.”

Sarawat finds his courage in Tine’s eyes, wide and dark and wondering. When he leans close enough he can see himself reflected there.

“I love you,” he says simply. “I’ve loved you since the moment I saw you, Tine.”

Tine’s face is so solemn that the dawning of a sweet, exasperated smile is unexpected, like a beam of sunlight breaking through a storm cloud. 

“Love at first sight, Wat? Seriously?” Tine caresses his cheek, his thumb just barely brushing the corner of Sarawat’s mouth. “Do you always have to be such an overachiever? I didn’t realize till this afternoon.”

“Realize what?”

“That I love you too.” 

~

Sarawat will live to be a very old man—nearly as old as his husband, who lives to see one hundred and hold their newborn great-great-grandchild in his arms. But in all his long expanse of years and memories, this is the moment Sarawat will treasure above all the rest: 

Tine at eighteen, achingly beautiful and heartbreakingly young, smiling into his eyes and saying “I love you too.”

~

 

The movies are still a lie. Even when they can honestly call it making love, sex still isn’t magical.

At one critical point Sarawat freezes up and flat-out refuses to proceed because Tine hurts. The one thing he swore above everything else, that he would never hurt Tine, and he’s already managed to do it with his big, stupid, overeager dick. He’d rather forego sex entirely than cause Tine any more pain.

His boyfriend has other ideas, though. He locks his ankles at the back of Sarawat’s thighs, fists both hands in Sarawat’s hair, and fixes him with a feral glare that would be intimidating if it weren’t such a turn-on. 

“You stop now,” Tine hisses between clenched teeth, “and you die.”

Holy shit. Even that’s a turn-on. Sarawat is impossibly hard and very, very confused. He stares down at Tine, afraid to move.

“But I’m hurting you,” he says unhappily. “Tine, I’m hurting you.”

Tine makes a low moan of frustration. “Yes. A little. And you’re also parked on my prostate, you sadistic prick, and it’s driving me insane—so will you please, please, please move your gorgeous ass and fuck me already?”

Sarawat blinks. “You really want me to?”

Tine closes his eyes and sighs like a long-suffering martyr. “Saraleo. Love of my life. Literal pain in my ass. How many ways do I have to spell this out?”

“I don’t know, I—” Sarawat’s throat nearly closes from anxiety; his next words come out sounding as choked as though he’s about to cry. “I’m sorry. I just hate hurting you, I’m scared to get this wrong, and I—” He swallows hard. “Just tell me,” he pleads. “Tell me exactly what you want. Seriously, Tine. Please.”

“Oh, Sarawat.” This time Tine’s sigh is soft, and so is the touch of his hands as he releases his tight clench on Sarawat’s hair to cradle his face between both palms. “Fuck. Come here.”

For a confused moment Sarawat thinks, Come here? I’m already inside you! But Tine is already kissing him, soft and warm and unhurried, and despite his anxiety Sarawat relaxes into it and savors that lush, sweet mouth on his.

“Now look at me,” Tine says when the kiss ends, “and trust me.”

“I always trust you,” Sarawat says immediately.

“Then trust me to know my own body, OK?” Tine’s hands move to his shoulders, where they deliver a firm squeeze before stroking down the flat planes of his back to settle warmly at Sarawat’s waist. “I know how it feels and I know what I want.” 

He begins to move under Sarawat then, pushing upward with a gentle nudge of his hips, taking Sarawat just a fraction of a centimeter deeper. 

Sarawat closes his eyes. It’s so much. So much. “You’re so tight,” he whispers. 

Tine’s mouth brushes along the line of his jaw. “And you’re big,” he murmurs in reply, “and I like it. Move in me, Sarawat, just a little. Let me feel how hard and big you are for me.”

Sarawat can’t hold back a low moan as he obeys, rocking his hips just enough to create the slightest back-and-forth motion inside Tine. “So tight,” he repeats. “Tine, oh god—”

“Shhh.” The hands at his waist slip lower, taking firm hold of Sarawat’s ass to guide his movement. “Shhh, baby. Just feel. Feel and listen to me, OK? Fuck into me a little deeper, nice and slow, that’s it. In and out, gentle, gentle...so good, Wat. A little more now. Oh god, good boy, good boy, oh my god…” His back arches and he moves more firmly against Sarawat, his gentle nudges meeting Sarawat’s slow-motion thrusts. “Now kiss me again, and fuck into me harder while you do.”

Again Sarawat obeys, his own words echoing in his mind: You asked me. I’ll always give you what you ask for, Tine. He takes Tine’s mouth and his body too, rocking harder into that tight exquisite heat, swallowing the little whimper the motion forces out of Tine. A pleasure sound or pain? His hips stutter with his uncertainty and he raises his head, searching Tine’s face.

Tine answers his unspoken question with a single hungry word: “More.”

It’s the last crack in the dam of Sarawat’s self-control. With a wordless cry he thrusts hard into Tine, bottoming out at last, and begins to fuck him in earnest. 

It’s still not movie perfection. They knock their teeth together once, they get out of sync a few times, and when they try to shift position Sarawat slips out of him entirely and nearly kills the mood with his awkward apologies. And Sarawat is practically on the verge of climax himself before he realizes what a selfish bastard he’s being and gets a fist wrapped around Tine’s poor neglected hard-on. It’s amateur sex at its not-so-finest—but it’s still Tine under him, Tine on his cock, Tine who loves him crying out Sarawat’s name as he goes to shuddering pieces in his arms.

It’s also Tine who makes him sleep on the wet spot when neither of them has the energy to get up and fetch fresh sheets. But gazing down at Tine’s sweet satiated face, Sarawat can’t bring himself to mind. 

He kisses Tine’s damp brow. “Love of your life, huh?”

Tine smacks him without even opening his eyes. “Don’t get cocky about it. But yeah.”

Sarawat sighs contentedly. “Oh, good. That’s two of us then.”